I'm Not A Credit Card Racist, But...

« July 2014 »

Memo to Barclay's: WHO DO YOU THINK I AM?

One of the big worries about living in the modern age is that, thanks to Big Data, companies will be able to find out everything about us and market to us accordingly. We will be helpless before the coercive power of their incredibly targeted offers.

Well, I wouldn't be too concerned, because Barclays just offered me a Visa Black Card.

What is a Visa Black Card? Well, it's something they could have saved a buck fifty in elaborate promotional materials and postage by not offering it to me, because I'm neither a hideous douchebag, or in an income bracket likely to turn me into one in the near future.

These elaborate promotional materials make sure to inform me repeatedly that the card is made of stainless steel. I gather that I am supposed to be impressed by this, but as I am not a status-obsessed imbecile, it does nothing for me. I mean, the whole point of a stainless steel card would be for clerks to notice it's not your ordinary credit card when you hand it to them, so that you can smugly smile at their surprise, acknowledging that you're not some plastic-card-carrying peon.

But if Barclay's actually had access to my purchasing habits, they'd know I actually hand my card to people about one time in every 100. The rest of the time, I'd only be impressing myself with the steely firmness of my huge... credit line.

The slogan of the card, by the way, is "Luxury Without Limits", which to anyone like me with even a modicum of political acumen knows is not only impossible, but frankly, a fucking dangerous attitude to have at this point in the world's history.

Other amenities include "Luxury gifts from the world's top brands", which I think we all know means water bottles with compasses glued to them that Skymall couldn't sell, and a "Members Only" Black Card Magazine, which promises nothing anyone would ever want to read, in a format nobody wants to read anything in anymore. In other words, a Skymall catalog with a couple of articles cribbed from a 2009 Men's Health.

In a moment of frank honesty, one subheading does promise that the card will turn me into "THE ULTIMATE BUYING TOOL"... oh, wait, no, they're still talking about the card. Nevermind.

There's a "24-hour concierge", which is a word that used to mean something fancy, but now Target plants a random redshirt in the makeup aisle and calls them a "beauty concierge", so allow me to continue not giving a shit.

I'm also promised V.I.P. treatment at something called "Villas Of Distinction", which is either the fifth Transformers movie or something somehow even less appealing. I think it's safe to say that if you ever come across me planning a trip to a Villa of Distinction, you have carte blanche to swiftly kick me in my Scrotum of Distinction.

So don't worry about putting your data out there. If they're as bad at reading yours as they clearly are at reading mine, they can have everything on you they want and still not know shit.